Atomica – Issue 1
Written by castor :: [Wednesday, 17 June 2015 20:01] Last updated by :: [Wednesday, 29 July 2015 10:10]
Meteor Storms were tricky.
Meteors in general were. Meteors could do one of:
destroy all life on the planet and kill off the dinosaurs;
destroy a major city;
be a fairly harmless light show in the sky when it burned up in the outer atmosphere.
This depended a lot on the size and composition, which wasn’t always easy to determine. If you smashed meteor into outer space that was meant to do ‘A’, you tended to get lots of meteor that may do ‘B’, which required being destroyed before they did ‘C’ – or, maybe, still did B. It was hard to work all out. Of course, even a very huge meteor may just do C, but better safe then sorry.
Atomica flew into the upper atmosphere to face a group of maybe a dozen meteors that could destroy most of North America – and, probably, a hundred more that would look good on a shelf in a museum, when all was said in done. It was complicated, but she tried her best.
Atomica couldn’t survive the hard vacuum of space for that long. She had super powerful lungs in her impressive chest, but they had limits. She had to go to N.A.S.A., which gave her a supply of air tanks and a mask. It was weird for her. She was more powerful than anything, but someimes she needed human things. Breathing masks and air canisters but, well, not the rest of the outfit.
She fastened it on her back. Her costume was black spandex that covered most of her curvy body, but left her flat, hard abs of sinewy bumps exposed bellow her significant chest, down her long tapered legs. However it nestled over it, which felt a tad awkward
She adjusted the rebreather on her face, the eye holes of her mask and flew up, breaking the speed of sound three times. The space shuttle took nearly half an hour to get to the outer atmosphere. She took less then a minute.
The Meteors N.A.S.A. had told her were the result of a failed comet that had been destroyed by something. They were large and had odd shapes and were destined to crash into Earth in about three days.
Not on her watch.
In outer space she could accelerate even faster, easily moving at nearly 1 quarter of the speed of light. She could fly faster still, but that wasn’t an issue. It was easy. You would think it would damage her costume – made of comparatively light fabric – but, well, there was no atmosphere for it to burn up in.
She barely had time to think of it before the first rock.
Actually if one was to be accurate it wasn’t really rock, but a giant piece of iron the size of – maybe – Houston, Texas. It was a black thing, a void in space. She saw it less for its shape than for the stars it obscured. As she got closer and closer, she could see that it was massive. Atomica was big for a woman, nearly 6 feet tall and covered in tapered muscle. However, next to it, she was tiny. An ant. A nothing. A minuscule speck of dust.
She punched it and it exploded.
Literally exploded. She was worried that it would make more pieces, but it simply shattered into a million pieces – most no bigger than her fist. There were a few slightly larger pieces, but in less than 10 seconds what was once large was now …
She could do that.
She quivered slightly.
Atomica valued life. She valued freedom, and truth and justice. She valued humanity.
Still, she quivered at the prospect of her own power.
The second meteorite didn’t quite do it, not because it was stronger, but because it was weaker. When she punched, it fractured into a dozen pieces because of fault lines in its core. She looked at them. Each was larger than an aircraft carrier and, for a second, she flew over them lazily looking at the spaces and forms of them – each one larger than practically anything on Earth. They were beautiful really. She wished she could show them to people.
Then, she smashed them and they were no more.
She had business to attend to.
One by one the meteors fell, breaking up before they could do any damage to anyone, hurt anyone. They were dead rocks of space debris and then they weren’t even that, just gristle for her atomic powered fists. She smashed them and smashed them …
And it felt so damn good.
So goddamn good.
Atomica would have felt shame in it really … but she felt power instead.
When it was over and she was in a cloud of small little rocks she picked one up and flew back to Earth.
“Hey honey.” she said to Bill as she got home. Bill worked on the internet doing something. Atomica, or Nancy Fellios as she was known when she didn’t wear the black costume, had been with him for about 5 years from first ‘dating’, to ‘kind of living together’ to, now, ‘fully living together’ and, in all that time, she never got a complete sense of what he did. . He was a writer. He worked in video games, but not actually writing video games, or reviews of them, or articles about them – something mock something.
In any case he was a handsome and very decent man, who when he smiled at her, as he did now getting up, still gave her a sense of Goosebumps.
“I got you a gift.” she said holding out a hand. It was a meteorite the size of, maybe, a baseball.
“Aweee thanks puppy.” he said. ‘Puppy’ was his pet name for her. She liked it when he called her that.
“It’s from a storm of meteors that was coming to Earth”. Atomica pulled off her mask and stretched a tad. It took a second or two to transform from superpowered to normal – not that she transformed ala Hulk, but just the transition from being in a world of ultimate strength to a large condominium in Dallas. It was a trick.
“Huh.” he paused “This is neat. On most meteors I see in museums you get the sense that they melted a lot from Earth’s atmosphere – this one isn’t – it almost looks like a piece of iron you would buy at … an iron store.”
“Iron store?” she said as she slipped off her costume and adjusted her bra. Despite flying into outer space she bought it at Victoria’s Secret.
“Works for me.”
She nodded. Bill wasn’t a scientist from the movies who wore a lab coat, but he did like this kind of stuff. It made her feel smart sometimes to be with him. She wrapped arms that had excreted unlimited force just minutes ago. She played a touch with his chest hair. It felt good in her arms. He did to.
“Come to bed honey. I want to cuddle.” she said wandering over towards it and that was just that. She didn’t want sex or any of it, just a snuggle. She had felt a little odd the last couple of days. Her emotions felt a little stronger than usual. Happy, sad, angry – which could be ever so slightly dangerous with her. They felt more intense. She felt a little as if her bra was feeling tighter, which was an odd sensation to an invulnerable woman who could defy gravity. She wondered if something was up with her period but, well, it hadn’t happened yet.
“Let me finish here for a second.” he said “Got to finish this email.”
“Come on.” she said. She wiggled her perfectly round butt at him. It usually did the trick
“Three sentences and …”
She giggled slightly. She liked the chase. She liked being able to lift planets and still able to …
… puke right on the carpet, which she did next.
That night Nancy shuttered and went to bed. Bill made her a good chicken soup, which he claimed his mother used to do when he was a kid. He was sweet like that when he wanted. He held her when she was sleeping, which made her felt good.
The next day she felt worse and she made an appointment with Dr. Nichols, who was a special army doctor caring for people with superpowers. She had been told when she felt the least bit sick to come to her – you never really know.
Now, you could image this as a giant base underwater, or on the moon, or in a giant army base in the middle of nowhere with hundreds of thousands of solders, but really it was an army hospital in suburban Maryland. There was a checkpoint outside with some boys in blue, but mostly it looked like a park hospital – more park than hospital actually. Nancy remembered when, as a child, she spent a lot of time in them.
She flew in and landed on campus and quickly put on civilian clothing. It was weird. Atomica obviously dressed one way. Nancy dressed another. She tended, if not to be frumpy, to wear a lot of sweaters and scarves, to hide her appearance a bit so people wouldn’t stare much at her. She wore glasses. Nancy was a freelance graphics designer from Dallas (well, claimed to be a freelance graphic designer-it was a good job to tell people at parties). Now she needed a third identity so she wore a fairly plain suit. She looked … well … a very pretty version of normal.
She walked through the campus towards the office which was on the 10th floor of the building, getting into the elevator. It was another odd sensation. She had flown the distance from Dallas to Maryland in about 20 minutes at incredible speed. Now, she had to wait for an elevator get in and spend a minute to go up a mere hundred feet. She would have run up the stairs, but she was wearing heels. Instead she took the indeterminable elevator, walked into the waiting room and signed in at the desk.
“Hello Atomica.” Dr. Nichols said walking out with an outstretched hand.
Dr. Nichols was a middle age woman, originally from India, who had made it to America to study superheroic anatomy. A specialty, she had to admit, it was a lot of guess work but, mostly, she projected the kind cool competence of a professional.
“Let’s get you inside” said Nichols “and run some tests. I know drawing blood is very tricky but—”
So for the next several hours they performed tests. It was trickier. Blood was one thing, obviously, but also the conventional CAT scan barely picked up anything. Atomica’s body was resistant to the radiation. Throughout them, Nichols seemed competent, friendly and a little peeved … but, well, this was life for her. Nancy was poked, prodded and felt very objective – in the sense she was treated as an object.
After it was over … she just sent her home. She didn’t even talk to her about it.
She flew home that night and thought about what she did but, as she did, she heard something. It was the faint sound in the upper atmosphere
She accelerated as fast as she could. She had a little backpack, with the outfit she had worn to the doctor. It burned up instantly as her skin heated up to near boiling temperatures of mass.
Within two minutes she was away from over the U.S. to over West Africa, as she flew to her target: an active volcano that was just starting to erupt, producing violent clouds of gas and bulging.
This was going to be a big one-not, one of those that didn’t produce lava, but exploded. Just exploded and probably destroy in a second a fair amount of the surrounding farmland.
This, in short, was a disaster and she was needed with now …
And punching it would be a bad idea.
The basic problem with volcanoes is they have too much pressure from the earth bellow them. They need to release it.
Remove the pressure.
Atomica flew towards the earth. When she hit it, she barely registered. A small crater was formed at the impact point. She kept flying. Flying through the igneous rock like it was nothing. Not a barrier. She was like a ghost and she left a hole in her wake.
She flew through it till she hit the magma chamber. The heat became plasma temperatures, the consistency much easier, so it was a trade off. One she barely registered it.
She flew, now white hot, burning off her costume in a quarter of a second. She ignored it. Ignored everything except the mission.
She flew downward, as magma still flowed into the rocky space.
And punched that.
It shattered and imploded downward. She kept punching and punching. Blow after blow, unable to see for the magma and rock around her, just gasses of lava flowing across her hair and getting into her eyes as she punched it.
As she made space, the magma started to flow downwards, no longer full of pressure, no longer under stress. The incredible power that would be stronger than 10 atomic bombs was no match for what she had created. It went away seeping down. Not unto nothingness, but down.
She spent an hour or two below the earth, making a new chamber, even going upwards a bit to make a top of the volcano for a future eruption to come up. Maybe it would be a tourist attraction someday, but it was taken care of.
She then flew out to the Atlantic Ocean and washed off the magma, still boiling a huge chunk of water as rock formed on her body.
She found that she was covered in pumice – which was what happens when lava contacts water. She considered making a pumice bra for Bill’s collection. What a laugh. However she found that, as she brushed off rock around, it broke. It was too delicate for her hands. Ahh, well. She did get a small piece that she guessed had been partially shaped by the small of her back or something.
She was naked and 2000 miles from home. She had been in worse situations. She was actually feeling pretty good all things considered.
She flew home whistling a bit and arrived through a window. She would have to get a new costume but, well, she had 6 spares. It happened and a costume was worth less then about 1/5 of a country.
Bill wasn’t in the room. As she pulled on a sweatshirt, she walked over and saw him. He turned and looked at her though with concern.
“What?” she said. He rarely looked concerned anymore. After he discovered her secret. A bit, yes,. but now. “What is it?”
“Your doctor lady called.” he said “She wouldn’t give me any information … but …”
“Out with it.”
“She told me to have you call her as soon as you can.”
Nancy went to the phone. She brushed some hair out of her ear as she pulled up the receiver.
“Hello.” said the doctor “I was talking to your husband earlier.”
“Boyfriend. Live-in boyfriend.” she had thought about going through the steps there and had the feeling that at some point the step was going to be taken. But …
“Can he get on the line?” to said the voice “Do you have the technology?”
“Bill.” she cried “Pick up the phone.”
Bill picked up “Hello is everything okay with her?”
“Well” said Dr. Nichols “I don’t usually deal with this kind of scenario, but I think it tradition to tell both parties at once. Atomica and I guess your partner … well to be out with it: you’re pregnant.”